LOST Challenge of the Week: “The Variable”

28 04 2009

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I simply can’t wait for these last 3 episodes of LOST to hit the airwaves.  After a one week mini-hiatus, the hype meter is on high for the remaining 4 hours of Season 5.  While there’s all kinds of rampant speculation about what the finale will or won’t contain, the next episode, “The Variable”, seems pretty straightforward.  It’s going to be a Daniel episode, and he’s going to share with the LOSTies everything he knows about the island.  Additionally, it seems as though the Dharmaville ruse is finally up, and people are going to have to choose sides regarding staying in Dharma…or something else.  It looks like a high-drama, high-action episode.

But what intrigues me the most about the episode is the title.  Last season, we had an episode called “The Constant”, in which Desmond came to realize that he needed Penny, his constant, in order to remain sane and alive despite all of the time traveling he was doing (even if it was all in his consciousness and not actual physical time travel).  Additionally, we came to learn that Desmond was actually Faraday’s constant.  With Desmond off the island and Faraday back on it, you might wonder about (or fear for) Daniel’s safety…

But what about “The Variable”?  Is it a bookend of sorts for the episode “The Constant”?  And will it have a negative impact, as opposed to the positive impact of “The Constant”?  I guess that’s what I’m asking you…as this week’s challenge of the week:

What is “The Variable”, how is it related to Faraday, and in what way will it affect him?

That’s all for now, see you back in a couple of days with the recap!  Enjoy the show, I expect it’ll be an interesting ride!

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LOST Discussion: 10 Things I Can’t Wait To See

23 04 2009

Hey everyone, while we’re stuck with a LOST clip show this week, I thought I’d do something a little different than usual on the blog.  As you’re probably aware, we’ve only got 4 hours of LOST left this season, and then probably another 17 next.  And then that’s it!  LOST will be gone forever (except on Blu-Ray and DVD, of course.)

So, with more LOST yesterdays than tomorrows, I thought I’d take a look at some of the things I’m really looking forward to over the next 20+ hours of my favorite show.  And really, the writers have done a great job of answering a ton of questions for us.  I’d have to say that more questions have been answered to this point than are remaining to be answered.  But there are still some really good mysteries, events, people, and storylines that I’m looking forward to knowing the final bit on.

And, I thought I’d share all of them, including what I’m hoping for, with all of you.  If any of them jive with what you’re thinking about when you think LOST, I hope that you’ll comment below and start a discussion.  It’d be nice to chat about a few of these things while we still have time!  So, without further ado, here’s my list:

10.  Jack Shephard’s ultimate fate

jackinthejungle

When Jack was first introduced back in the pilot, it was hard to dispute the fact that he was the most central character in LOST.  Over the course of the series, Jack has slowly lost the leadership role, become extremely flawed, and for a time (at least for me), became pretty much uninteresting.  But really, LOST is as much Jack’s story as it is anyone else’s.  And his recent change…finally giving up his need to fix things, and actually thinking about himself and his destiny…is incredibly compelling.  There was a time that I really didn’t care about Jack’s character anymore, but that time has come and gone.  I can’t wait to see how Jack fulfills his island destiny…and if he lives through what the island has in store for him.

My fearless prediction: Jack will make a decision that will save the island, the world, and Kate, but will spell his own demise.

9. “The War”

If I was a betting man, I would wager that LOST’s sixth and final season is going to be all about this “war” that keeps getting hinted to us viewers.  And if it is, and it’s LOST’s final endgame, then you’d have to imagine that it’s going to be absolutely spectacular.  You know that everyone left alive (and perhaps even those that aren’t) will play a part, and that the show will pull out all the stops to go out with a bang.  Of course, we know so little about it, so I really couldn’t justify placing it any higher on my list.  Is it about the future of humanity as a whole?  Is it about the ability to continue to keep the space-time continuum together?  Or is it something just a bit more mundane?  I’d have to imagine that we’ll get just a bit more of a taste of what it’ll be prior to the end of the season,  And, if I were to do another list when the final frame of the finale airs, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it jumped 7 spots to the top.

My fearless prediction: The war is all about who gets control of the island once and for all.  It will bring some sides together that appear to be enemies right now, and cause much death and devastation.  Those that live through it will be able to access all of the powers of the island for all of eternity.

8. Who are “Adam & Eve”

adamandeve

So…just in case you forgot, we were introduced to a couple of skeletons way back in Season 1.  And the writers have come forward to say that they wanted to do that as early as possible, to prove that they had a plan for the ending all along.  While this may seem somewhat trivial, the revelation of what the writers had planned from the beginning, and how it plays out, will be fascinating for me.  I think a good part of how LOST is remembered will come down to how they answer or reveal some of the mysteries that have spanned the majority of the show.  To me, this is one of those long-spanning mysteries.  Here’s hoping that the explanation is worth the wait.

My fearless prediction: It’s gotta be a couple, right?  The easy guess is Jack and Kate, but I’m going to go with Rose and Bernard.

7. How Christian/the apparitions/the whispers are tied together

christianholdingaaron

Alright, some of you might be a bit critical of me for lumping 3 different things into this one category, but really, I can’t help but feel as though they’re related.  After all, Christian technically is an apparition himself.  Of course, at the same time, you have to wonder whether or not his presence is a little more special than the others, or if the apparitions are actually all one entity.  And at the same time, it clearly seems as though the whispers seem to happen at the same time the apparitions appear (see Ben’s mother for a recent example).  Again, this is one of those mysteries that has spanned all 5 seasons to date, so the anticipation is high for a spectacular explanation.  This could be one that will make us watch all of those old episodes again just to se how it all fits together.

My fearless prediction: The apparitions are actually resurrected island dwellers, but can only appear when the island allows them to.  The whispers are the island going through its catalog of deceased folks and deciding which one to manifest.

6. What happens in the Temple

thetemple

If I remember correctly, we didn’t even hear about The Temple until we got near the end of Season 3.  But it’s been a huge part of the mythology this season, and seems to be inextricably tied to “The Sickness” that we were introduced to way back in Season 1.  It seems to be central to how the Others maintain control of the island, and also tied to Ben becoming the man he is today.  If that weren’t enough, The Temple may also be tied to many of the other mysteries of the island.  At the end of it all, The Temple may be the central focus of the island, and tied to how everything operates.  But in the very least, it’s a piece of the island that, when explained, will answer a couple of questions that we’ve been wondering about for quite some time.

My fearless prediction: The Temple is where all of the resurrections take place (the bodies must be taken there), and is the central location for all of the island’s powers.

5. What is the Smoke Monster?

ekoandthemonster

Interestingly, I think that the Smoke Monster was my #1 mystery for the longest time.  In fact, it might still be at the top of the list if not for this season’s “Dead Is Dead”, where we were given just a few more details about how Smokey operates.  So while I now have other things that I’m slightly more interested in, I still am very excited about the final explanation of Smokey.  What is it made of?  Is it mechanical or organic?  Whose bidding does it carry out?  And what is the true reason why it kills some but spares others?  The episode where we get the final word on the Smoke Monster will be an excellent episode indeed.

My fearless prediction: The smoke monster is a supremely advanced machine, brought to the island from the future when the island skipped through time.  It does the bidding of whoever controls the temple.

4. The backstory of Richard Alpert

alpert

With Ben’s past almost fully explained with this season’s episodes, I’d nominate Richard as the most enigmatic character on LOST.  Heck, he may have been even before we got so much of Ben’s story.  There’s just so much we don’t know about him.  Just how old is he?  Has he been leading the Others before we even knew them as Others?  What’s his arrangement with the Others?  What’s his relationship with Jacob?  He’s clearly a huge part of the Others’ hierarchy, and can do some things that defy explanation (like walk through the sonic fence unscathed), so getting his backstory will be an exciting thing.  I imagine that getting to know what he’s all about will tell us a ton more about the island as well.

My fearless prediction: Richard is from the distant past of the island, but was resurrected, so is able to retain his age from the time he was brought back to life.

3. “What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue?”

fourtoedfrombehind

Alright, so the statue would have had a hard time making the cut prior to this season.  But now that we’ve seen more than just the foot, and in fact, have a group using the statue as a code word/riddle, it’s suddenly become one of the most forward-facing mysteries on the show.  And there are many layers to it as well.  What is the statue a replica of?  If by some chance it’s Anubis, as many have speculated, then what does that mean?  Is the island the gateway to the afterlife?  Is the island’s truly amazing power not just healing people, but actually resurrecting them?  The other angle is all about Ilana’s group, and what they have in store.  After “Some Like It Hoth”, you’d have to think that they’re not part of Team Widmore.  But could they be doing Ben’s dirty work?  Are they a faction of Richard’s team?  Do they have a different leader altogether?  And what the heck is in their crate?

But what I find to be the most fascinating about this group is that they seem to, despite the subterfuge, have their collective heads in the right place.  They had a true understanding of Miles’ plight, and the fact that he’s been injured by his relationship (or lack thereof) with his dad.  They seem to know that he’s using money to replace the hole in his heart, and that he’d love to understand why he can “talk” to dead people.  And they offered him answers to those questions.  Of course, the final mystery is all about what the answer is to their question.  And perhaps, it’ll have some true meaning, whether the answer itself is literal or figurative.

My fearless prediction: The statue is indeed Anubis, the temple is in the shadow of the statue, and Team Ilana is going to give the island inhabitants all they can handle in the coming war.

2. How did Locke get resurrected, and what happened to him in the process?

ilanaandlocke

I don’t care what the new Locke actually says, the man is, quite frankly, someone completely different than the man we’ve come to know over the first 4 1/2 seasons of LOST.  The new Locke is so in tune with the island that he has the ability to know whether Sun will ever see Jin again.  He conveniently disappears when Ben summons the Smoke Monster, and then again when he comes face-to-face with it.  The old Locke had the ability to get in tune with the island when he focused, but never even close to the level that the new Locke has mastered, and achieves effortlessly.  He has come back to a completely different level.

Of course, this may have everything to do with the actual resurrection process that Locke went through in the first place.  We have absolutely no idea how, when, or where this took place, but Locke was clearly dead, and now is apparently alive.  Was his resurrection at all similar to Christian Shepard?  Or, has he been resurrected in a more “real” sense?  In other words, is he an apparition of some sort, or is he the same flesh and blood as say, Frank Lapidus?  Many layers of intrigue here, and every scene with Locke right now has me on the edge of my seat. 

My fearless prediction: Locke was taken to the temple to be resurrected and is now inextricably tied to the island.

1. Who is Jacob?

jacob

I have to admit, Jacob’s been at or near the top of my list ever since Ben and Locke visited his cabin back near the end of Season 3.  We know almost nothing about him, other than he seems to be invisible, asked Locke to “Help Me”, and seems to be the man that the Others, Richard Alpert, Charles Widmore, and perhaps many others, report to or answer to.  It’s inferred that he has the answers to all of the island’s mysteries, powers, and weirdness.  He’s made a list (to what end we don’t know), which only contained certain LOSTies names on them, but not all.  And for some strange reason, he seems to hate technology, even something as simple as a flashlight.  The potential of what he could be, what he stands for, and what he could do to anyone and everyone on the island seems limitless.

Jacob and his true nature would seem to be the key to the entire endgame of LOST.  Maybe the “war” is about who will control Jacob.  Maybe the war is about who Jacob will give his loyalty to.  Perhaps Jacob is the original founder of the island and can explain everything that’s happened to everyone on it since its inception.  With only a season and a couple of episodes remaining, I don’t think that it’s too far-fetched to think that the revelation of Jacob will also coincide with the revelation of LOST’s ultimate storyline, and how the whole thing comes to an end.  I’ll certainly be excited to see anything that gives us even the slightest info on the character and its meaning.

My fearless prediction: I think I’ve made enough dumb predictions prior to now…I’m going to refrain on one of these so I’m not a straight 10 for 10 wrong on all of them!  🙂

A few runners-up

Not everything could make my list, but here are a few more things that I’m keeping my eye on:

The infertility issue

We haven’t seen alot of this lately, but it was a huge item in earlier seasons.  It caused us to worry about the safety of Jin & Sun’s baby, and it’s the reason why Juliet is on the island.  And, it wasn’t an issue in Dharmaville in 1977, but clearly was in 2004.  Here’s hoping that we’ll see what caused it, as well as the resolution, before the series comes to a close.

The Faraday/Hawking/Widmore connection

Faraday has been a fun character to watch right from his first appearance on the show.  We’ve only seen a brief glimpse into his backstory, but even his introduction was full of mystery.  Why did he have such a strange reaction to seeing the footage of the Flight 815 wreckage?  Has he been to the island before?  What did he learn from his time travel experiements?  What was he doing at the start of Season 5 near the donkey wheel with what looked like an oxygen tank?  There’s alot to learn about Faraday, and his return in “Some Like It Hoth” was a nice sight.

The resolution to the Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Juliet quadrangle

While I haven’t been overly fond of this storyline through the seasons, it would be a bit of a travesty if we didn’t get some kind of real resolution to this prior to the end of the series.  Hopefully one of the couples will find some measure of happiness amongst the madness of the island.

That’s my list!  Did I miss one of your favorites?  Do you have something to share in addition to my comments?  Do you want to add any predictions to mine?  I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on these items, and anything else related to what you can’t wait to see in the final few hours of LOST!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 13: “Some Like It Hoth”

19 04 2009

Alright, before I get started, let me apologize for the delay in getting this post out.  Not that I think that any of you are waiting for my recap to make your LOST week complete, but I’d certainly like to be a little more timely.  Anyway, it was my daughter’s first birthday this past weekend, and obviously, I didn’t want to miss any of the festivities.  If there’s anything that wins out over my LOST obsession, it’s my daughter.  Anyway, that’s my excuse…I expect to get the posts out for the remainder of the season in a much more timely fashion.

So, after a huge mythology episode in “Dead Is Dead”, it was almost inevitable that we’d slow things down a bit with “Some Like It Hoth”.  It wasn’t quite as humorous as I had expected, but it was still a fun episode, and it had a couple of little tidbits of info to analyze and dissect.  So let’s jump right in!

Miles gets started at an early age

milesbegins

Interesting first scene this week, as it didn’t really seem to tell us anything we didn’t already know.  Miles can “talk” to dead people…OK, but we saw this in the “freighter folk” flashback last season, right?  I guess this scene establishes his relationship with his mother, and sets up the fact that he had his ability when he was young.  Unless I missed something though, there wasn’t a whole lot more than that.

“I’m gonna bring you into the circle of trust.”

circleoftrust

Well, OK, so much for my earlier assessment that Horace seemed to be one of the few Dharma folk without a secret agenda.  But more that that, what this scene, and the episode as a whole, tells us is that Dharma has a lot more going on than they’re letting most of their group know about.  I’ll get into this a bit more later, but suffice it to say that Dharma’s not on the island just to have a commune away from the rest of society.  No, they have an ulterior motive…the true intentions of which are unknown…

“I need you to tell me why I’m this way…”

milesandmom

…and I need to know why you won’t talk to me about my father.”  It’s interesting how the first part of Miles’ request gets pretty much lost in the explanation of the second.  But the answers of how and why certain things manifest themselves will come in another episode.  This show was all about the father/son relationship, seen through Miles’ eyes.  Of course, this might have given you the first clue about how the planet Hoth might have been relevant to the episode itself…

Miles and Hurley take a road trip

roadtrip

We already knew that these two made for some interesting dialogue, so why not have them hop in the van together for some more fun?  Although the writing wasn’t as crisp as some of the previous episodes, it was still cool to hear the banter.  My favorite was Hurley “confiding” in Miles that he could talk to dead people too…”you’re just jealous my power’s better than yours.”  Hilarious!

Miles makes it clear that he’s all about the money

We already had a real good idea about this, but his scene with the father who lost his football player son, it becomes abundantly clear.  Not only can’t he speak with the son, but he charges the father extra for privilege.  Miles wants cash, and that’s all he wants.  The question is, why?  Here’s hoping we get the answer at some point…

Kate can’t keep her poker face

Not sure why she cares so much…perhaps her time away from the island has made her a little bit more empathetic to other people’s plights…but she can join me and my gang at our Texas Hold ‘Em parties anytime!  It’s actually almost sad how Kate’s actions are consistently causing more harm than good since she’s returned to the island.  She’s distanced herself from Jack, gave up little Ben to whatever devices lie within the Temple, and now she’s opened up a hole in the smoke screen the LOSTies have put up in Dharmaville.  It’s clear that things are going to become worse before they become better…

“That douche is my dad.”

First off, kudos to Hurley for calling out Mr. Chang as the jerk that he is.  You really gotta wonder why the guy is consistently on his worst behavior.  Second, was this one of the worst-kept secrets in LOST ever?  OK, knowing that “Kevin Johnson” was Michael was probably an easier call, but this wasn’t that much more difficult.  I don’t think I specifically called it out in the first episode of the season, but I think I came pretty close.  In any event, not too much of a shocker here.  It does, however, set up the rest of the episode quite nicely…

“He’s on his way to deliver something to a guy named Widmore…”

speakingwiththedead

OK, so this is an interesting scene, but can we really decipher anything out of it?  The guy was bringing “evidence” of the staged Flight 815 to Widmore.  But was that to cover the tracks, or to expose Ben (or someone else)?  If you take it at face value, it really seems to point to the idea that Ben planted the fake Flight 815 at the bottom of the ocean…likely to give everyone closure to the idea that there might be survivors.  This is certainly a departure from what we thought we learned last season…that Widmore planted the plane.  Having Ben be the one that ultimately planted the evidence makes a ton more sense, but we’ve already been misdirected at least once, so I’m not closing the book on this one quite yet.

“How weird is it that your dad is that dude from all those movies?” 

Although it wasn’t any major shock to learn that Pierre Chang is Miles’ dad, it does make things very interesting with respect to who Widmore chose for his freighter expedition.  Now we can say with almost absolute certainty that Widmore hand-picked Faraday, Charlotte, and Miles because he likely meets and remembers them back in Dharmaville.  He knows that they must be chosen in order to fulfill their destinies in the past.  Very cyclical, and it plays on the whole free will vs. fate argument that almost certainly seems to be at least a major factor in LOST’s endgame.  After all, did Widmore choose them because of their special abilities, or did he choose them because he knew he *had to*?

“What did you learn in class today?”

“Oh nothing…just some stuff about the ancient Egyptians…”  OK, so that wasn’t spoken in the episode, but it may as well could have.  Awfully convenient to have Jack’s janitorial duties involve erasing the blackboard on Egyptian history day, isn’t it?  Of course, even with my DVR, I couldn’t make out anything worth discussing here.  I’m sure that we were supposed to be led to think more about how Egypt is going to play a role in the show, but not much else.  Any further clues will have to come from those that can translate the hieroglyphics on and under the Temple.

jackandroger

The one interesting thing to take from this scene though, is Jack’s demeanor.  First, he doesn’t bat an eye when Roger kicks his mop bucket.  He’s more in control of his emotions than ever before.  Second, he calmly comes to defend Kate, even after she previously threw him under the bus.  I may be the only one that feels this way right now, but I love the transformation that Jack’s character has gone through, and I can’t wait to see him get the chance to bust through the window of opportunity he is so calmly waiting for.

Hurley and Miles continue their Dharma station tour with Dr. Chang

swanconstruction

I’m not sure which is more entertaining: the dialogue betwene the three of them (“I like country”), or the discovery of all of the Dharma stations in various states of construction.  One thing I am extremely curious about though…we know that the Dharma folk are building their stations next to the island’s phenomena.  The barracks are built on the smoke monster summoner, and the Orchid is built on top of the frozen donkey wheel.  But what is the Swan station built on?  Could it be where the Others buried “Jughead”?  Or is there something else going on there?

“What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue?”

shadowman

OK, so it took only one week for my thoughts about the Shadow people to be disproven.  They are clearly not working for Widmore, as they wouldn’t countermand him so directly if they were.  The first conclusion you might come to is the idea that they must be working for Ben.  However, I’m not so sure.  Maybe they’re working for neither Ben nor Widmore.  Could they be working for Richard?  Could theyt be operating completely on their own?  Either way, they sure do know a bunch about Miles.  And they almost seem to be genuine in their desire to help him understand the things that have happened to him in his life.  But he takes the low road, and looks for money instead of answers.  (Which, by the way, explains why he asked for the specific dollar amount when he met Ben last season.)  When Miles’ abductor claims that he’s going to be on the winning side, you’re almost inclined to believe him…

“It’s ‘furry fist’…I need a spell-check.”

Hilarious dialogue once again between these two, and the mystery of the episode title is finally revealed.  And if it stays true to form, you realluy have to feel for Miles.  After all, if you haven’t noticed already, this show is largely about people who have issues with their fathers.  Miles, Hurley, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Ben, Locke…I mean, it might be easier to list characters who *don’t* have daddy issues.  But what the title might be telling is here is that some folks may actually prefer it that way.  “Some Like It Hoth” may actually mean that some characters prefer to have their relationship with their father mirror the movie that Hoth was in…The Empire Strikes Back.  That maybe Miles would prefer to have his relationship with his father be dysfuntional as opposed to seeing what he can do to work things out, or at least understand him.

youngmilesandchang

Hurley’s subsequent discussion with Miles seems to be what the island is all about: getting redemption.  Be it from the scarred relationship with your father, or any other issue you may bring with you, this island gives you another shot.  Hurley used it to his advantage and made things right with his dad.  Let’s see if Miles (and many of the other people who need to) can go down the same path and find a way to patch things up.

“I know who took the kid.”

How amusing is it that as soon as Jack is able to give Sawyer and Juliet a measure of peace surrounding Ben’s disappearance and the potential fallout it could bring, Sawyer’s inability to cover his own tracks creates a situation even more dire than before.  There’s no coming back from this now.  The ruse is up, and I’m sure the consequences will be played out over the course of the final few episodes of the season.

Miles gives the money back

At this point, we all know just how much Miles likes money.  So what’s the sense of returning all of the cash?  Did he get such a huge amount from Widmore that he doesn’t need it anymore?  Or did he really have a change of heart?  Clearly, the writers are trying to show us (perhaps too blatantly) that Miles does have a heart underneath that tough exterior, and that maybe he will have the ability to reach out and try to understand his father.

By the way, I’d like to say here that I initially didn’t like Miles’ character very much, but that he’s grown on me greatly since we first met him.  It was nice to see a bit more about his backstory, even if it didn’t seem as though there was anything truly relevatory or groundbreaking to it.

“Hey Miles…long time, no see.”

faradayreturns

Ah yes, Mr. Faraday!  Long time, no see indeed!  It’s nice to see Daniel back on the island, and it really sets up the excitement and anticipation for the next episode.  Filler time is over, and it’s time to begin building the momentum towards the season finale!

Post-episode questions:

  1. Who do the Shadow people work for?  And what might their motives be?
  2. What has Faraday been up to all this time, and why did he decide to come back to the island now?
  3. How is Sawyer going to cover his tracks now, and should he even try?
  4. What is Dharma really up to, and how do they know so much about the island’s mysteries?
  5. Did Hurley actually write the script for The Empire Strikes Back?  🙂

No new episode this week, but I expect to drop in and discuss some of this year’s developments with you, to see if we can piece together what’s in store for us in the final few episodes of the season.  Thanks for stopping by!





LOST Challenge of the Week: “Some Like It Hoth”

14 04 2009

Hi again everyone!  Can you believe that it’s been a week again already?  On the heels of last week’s incredible Ben-centric episode, we’ve now got another Dharmaville ep, and this one with a really cryptic title.  On first glance, it seems as though the title is a nod to…Star Wars?  For those of you that may not be aware, Hoth was the ice planet where most of the action took place at the start of “The Empire Strikes Back”.

But, what in the world does that have to do with LOST, and more specifically, 1977 Dharmaville LOST?  After all, The Empire Strikes Back didn’t even come out until 1980.  So this week’s challenge is easy:

What the heck does Hoth have to do with this week’s episode of LOST?

I have a feeling that this just might be one of those fun, goofy episodes with Hurley and Miles before things get serious when we come back from hiatus, so feel to get a little goofy with your answers!  Back in a couple of days with the recap…enjoy the show!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 12: “Dead Is Dead”

10 04 2009

Well, was that a doozy of an episode or what?  Sorry to those of you that watch LOST for the character development: this one was for the fans of the mythology, no question.  A ton of little tidbits of info: a few answers, sprinkled in with a few new mysteries to be solved.  No doubt, the pieces are starting to come together.  But the writers are also still throwing us a few curveballs as we wind down to LOST’s final cliffhanger.  There’s much to discuss!  So let’s get to it!

“The island chooses who the island chooses”

Interesting relationship that Richard and Widmore have.  It seems as though Widmore is calling the shots, but that Richard is allowed to trump him if he mentions Jacob, or the island’s wishes.  But what intrigues me even more is Widmore’s seeming singular focus on whatever he’s doing on the island.  He doesn’t want to save Ben, and only succumbs when Richard forces his hand.  He’s also quite unapologetic with respect to his desire to kill Danielle and Alex.  I’ll get more in depth on that topic in a bit, but the thing to keep in mind here is this question: in the upcoming “war”, is Widmore a good guy, or a bad guy?

“What’s in the crate?”

What indeed?  At this point we don’t recognize the significance, but it’s safe to say that Ilana’s main reason for getting on Flight 316  didn’t have anything to do with Sayid.  It was about getting herself to the island.  The question then becomes, who is she aligning herself with?  Did Eloise clue her in on Flight 316?  Is she working with Ben?  Did Widmore send her?  Could it be Widmore himself in the crate?  Or is she with another group entirely?  Her apparent knowledge of the island adds a whole new layer to the story.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to make a real educated guess as to her true intentions.  But if I had to go out on a limb right now, I’d say she’s a Widmore plant, and that Widmore himself may be in that crate, waiting to jump out when the time is right.

“Don’t worry my friend, I have your back.”

Well now, isn’t that high comedy?  A guy named Cesar telling someone that he has their back…do you think the writers were telling us something there about his fate in the next scene?  The writers are definitely not choosing the names of the characters in the show randomly…

Ben and Ethan raid Danielle’s camp

benandethan

Interesting that both Ben and Ethan are undercover Others at this point.  We always knew that Ben was, but clearly Ethan was turned at a young age as well…maybe by Ben himself?  Either way, Ben is shown at an early age to be taken out of his game when he confronts a mother and her child.  While there’s no doubt that this has ties to the reason why the Others are so obsessed with children and the fertility problem on the island, the big thing that I’m taking out of this is Ben’s demeanor.  He’s clearly been incredibly traumatized by his childhood, especially losing his mother mere minutes after he was born.  If he’s put into a situation in which he has to rob a child of his or her mother, he simply loses all focus and cannot carry out his original intentions. 

“Every time you hear whispers, you run the other way.”

Whoa, was that line from out in left field or what?  Is Ben trying to stop her from ever finding Alex again, or is he trying to protect her in some way?  Despite the fact that I think that Ben lies almost as much as he breathes, I really think he’s trying to help Danielle here.  He has an overwhelming level of empathy for the mother/child relationship, and while he knows he’s in for trouble by not fulfilling his task, he can’t help but to give Danielle a fighting chance.  Of course, I also wouldn’t be surprised if I’m completely wrong, and he’s just messing with her mind.  But what we do know is that this Ben knows exactly what those whispers are, and their intention.  Somehow, I’m led to believe that the Others have control of them somehow, and are using them to manipulate actions on the island.

“I was hoping that you and I could talk about the elephant in the room”

So…do you believe anything that Ben says here about his reasoning concerning Locke’s death?  He seems to change his story multiple times in the episode.  One thing I do think I believe him about is his reasoning for stopping Locke from killing himself…and then strangling him moments later.  He needed key info…namely, who Locke was going to see to put the Flight 316 plan in motion, and where she was hiding out.  Once he knew that, it was imperative that Locke die as the island demanded, but the hanging was clearly not going to happen.  Ben had to do the dirty work himself.

“Consider that my apology”

benshootscesar

Damn!  Ben’s one cold bastard, isn’t he?  He shoots Cesar with his own gun, effectively “stabbing him in the back”.  Yep, I definitely just wrote that.  And you know the writers wanted us to draw that conclusion as well.  But what’ s interesting is how Ben uses this moment to become subserviant to Locke.  He’s following Locke around like a little lost puppy dog…maybe he’s coming to the realization that the island wants him to be the leader, and the island is going to get what it wants, one way or the other.

“We had a complication…”

benreturns

The confrontation between Widmore and Ben after he and Ethan are unable to kill Danielle draws parallels to Ben pushing Locke to murder his father.  Perhaps this is Ben’s test…to overcome the circumstances of his youth and to transcend into the person that he was meant to be.  While it’s certainly possible that Widmore is just being a total jerk here, it’s more likely that he’s telling the truth about the island’s desires.  The island is trying to get Ben to overcome his one major “character flaw”…his trauma over his mother’s death.  And Ben has failed his task…at least for now.

“You don’t have the first idea of what this island wants.”

The one thing that is evident about Locke since he’s come back from the dead is that he is now in tune with the island in a way that he only dreamed about before.  Obviously, we don’t yet know about the circumstances of his resurrection, but whatever the process, it’s allowed him a relationship that is almost scary.  In fact, it’s almost to the level of Christian Shepard’s current connection..as if he’s the spokesperson for the island.  I’ll touch on this a bit more coming up.

“He said if I ever wanted to see my husband again, I had to wait here for John Locke.”

bensunandlapidus

While it’s obvious that the island has more in store for Sun than she realizes, the real interesting thing here is Ben’s reaction to the 1977 Dharma photo with the orignal LOSTies in it.  It seems to be one of genuine shock, but I’m not necessarily subscribing to the idea that he didn’t know.  He’s too good at playing with people to take that at face value.  It’ll be interesting to see how that plays itself out.

“The only ones that are here to help us are a murderer and the guy who can’t seem to remember how the hell he got out of a coffin!”

Once again, here’s Locke taking the reins of the island’s wishes…seemingly without any direct information whatsoever.  He tells Sun that she’ll never see Jin again if she goes back to Hydra island with Lapidus.  And he claims to be all the help she needs.  How can he make these claims?  Why does he even want to?  It’s clear that not only does he have a connection to the island, but he’s displaying extreme confidence about it as well.  It leads me to believe that there just might be more going on here than meets the eye…

Ben goes off to summon Smokey

bensummonsthemonster

A couple of things to take away from this scene.  First, remember that this is a Dharma camp we’re visiting here.  As far as we know, they were the ones that built these houses…including the one that is attached to the cave that takes Ben to the smoke monster summoner.  Did they know a little bit more about the island than we’re led to believe?  Or, was this just a communication device of some sort?  Ben clearly says, “I’ll be outside” after he pulls the plug and drains the water from the hole.  We’re led to believe that he’s talking to Smokey, but could it be that he was trying to reach someone else?  Finally, where the heck is Locke during all of this?  Sun tells Ben that he “had something to do”.  Really?  What the heck could he be up to at a time like this?  Why would he choose now to go do it?  I’m telling you, there’s much more to Locke right now than meets the eye.

Ben banishes Widmore

widmoreisexiled

One thng I like about Widmore more than Ben is his lack of subterfuge.  You can clearly tell that he is telling Ben exactly how he feels…no lies, no subtlties, just the cold, hard convictions of his mind.  He truly believes that the island wanted Alex dead.  And this scene was all the convincing I needed to believe it as well.  It defintiely seems as though Ben was meant to be involved and/or responsible for Alex’s death.  And this piece of information may go a long way towards understanding what really happened at the end of the episode.

“Dead is Dead.”

Alright, so here we go again with a different version of Ben’s story.  Now he claims that he had no clue that Locke would come back from the dead if he came back to the island.  And with Locke nowhere in the vicinity, I’m much more inclined to believe him now.  While I think Ben believed that Locke needed to die and come back to the island dead, I don’t think Ben had any expectation that Locke would be resurrected.  Ben knows alot about the island, but this one took him completely by surprise.  This, of course, does a good job of explaining why Ben is following Locke around so willingly.  He’s truly afraid of what might happen to him if he doesn’t…

“I assure you Sun, I’m the same man I’ve always been.”

Well, I’m not one to call Locke a liar, but this line is in direct contradiction with everything we see in this episode.  Locke’s earned a lot of trust with the viewers over the years due to his ability to seemingly always tell the truth, even when he doesn’t know what’s going on.  But our new Locke *is* different, even if it’s only because he’s so in tune with the island.  Despite Locke’s words, I’m not taking anything he does at face value.  In fact, in the very next scene, he admits to “knowing” what’s going on with the island, and taunts Ben’s current predicament: “Now you know what is was like to be me.”  This is not the same Locke.

“About a half mile from here…we built this wall to keep people like the two of you from ever seeing it.”

atthetemplewall

So…that is not the Temple wall we’ve been seeing all this time, but instead, a facade.  Quite interesting.  I have very little doubt that we’ll get to see the Temple proper some time in the very near future.  But for now, we’ll have to “settle” for Locke forcing Ben into his confrontation with Smokey…

Desmond brings the beat down

benaimsatpenny

OK, so I have to admit…I really thought that Desmond was a goner.  With all of the rumors swirling about a “major-ish” character meeting his or her demise, and Ben firing a shot right into what appeared to be Desmond’s chest, I thought we were done with good ol’ Des.  Of course, I was ecstatic to see otherwise, as Desmond has too much potential to take leave of us just yet.  But it definitely was a major shock to see Ben get blinsided after he let his guard down, and have the crap beat out of him by Mr. Hume.  Of course, now we know why Ben was so bloody back in “316”.  It wasn’t Penny’s blood, or even Desmond’s; it was his own.

One other thing to make note of here: Ben is once again paralyzed when he thinks he’s about to ruin a mother’s relationship with her child.  He simply cannot complete the mission he set himself on.  I think that even if Desmond weren’t there to make sure the killing didn’t happen, I suspect that Penny and little Charlie would have escaped.

“What lies in the shadow of the statue?”

shadowofthestatus

No matter how strange the situation was back on the main island, once Lapidus heard this question, he must have been really wishing he hadn’t left.  Poor Frank has no clue what Ilana’s talking about, and we the viewers are only slightly more clued in.  Certainly, Ilana is talking about the 4-toed statue.  But what lies in the shadow?  The smoke monster?  The temple? Death?  Of course, it’s clearly just a passcode, but it’ll be interesting to know the answer.  And perhaps even more interesting will be *who* knows the answer.  I speculated on Ilana’s alignment earlier, but one thing that seems to be clear…she’s making a beeline for the main island, and I bet her destination is the Temple.

“I did kill Alex…and now I have to answer for that.”

Obviously, the big payoff of the episode is Ben’s confrontation with the smoke monster.  But before I discuss that directly, I want to touch on something.  Does it strike any of you as odd that Locke continues to find ways to be conveniently absent when the smoke monster is summoned/approaching?   With all that went in on this sequence, it’s easy to think that his disappearance (heck, Ben *did* fall into a hole) was happenstance.  But I seriously doubt that it was coincidence.  Locke not only appears to be in tune with the island, but I would venture to guess that he is now *part* of the island in some way.  He doesn’t seem to be around when Christian, the smoke monster, or any “apparition” appears.  I’m going out on a limb a bit here, but it seems to convenient.  I’ve definitely got my eye on Locke and his whereabouts in relation to other island phenomena.

monsterandanubis

In terms of the structure itself that Ben fell into, it’s got the requisite Egyptian markings, as expected.  But what may not have been expected, was a quick glimpse of Anubis, apparently summoning the smoke monster.  It’s almost a given now that the 4-toed statue is indeed Anubis, considering everything we know to date.  Additionally, knowing that Anubis is the Egyptian god of the afterlife, it’s not overly surprising to see him summoning the smoke monster to do his bidding.  The whole thing fits almost *too* well.

4toedstatuebehind

Ben gets judged

You know, when I first read the listing for this episode, I wasn’t convinced that Ben was actually going to go face-to-face with the monster.  After all, it’s one thing to summon something, and it’s another thing entirely to actually confront it.  But thankfully, it wasn’t a head fake, and we actually did get to see Ben get fully enveloped by the smoke monster, and face its judgment.

benandthesmokemonster

I have a little curveball I want to throw you though.  While we don’t know *exactly* what the smoke monster is doing, it certainly appears as though it’s judging its victim’s intentions.  Locke originally came in contact with the monster and was spared.  Later, he came in contact with it and was almost dragged down into its corridors.  Eko first met the smoke monster and escaped unscathed.  later he met it, seemingly unrepentant, and has killed by it.  Of course, we also know the monster killed the pilot in the first episode, and it tried to get to Juliet and Kate unsuccessfully.  Following the pattern, you can make a case that the monster judges a person’s true intentions, and if they are pure in heart, they escape and live to see another day.

But what if that’s *not* what Smokey is doing?  As part of Ben’s past unfolded in this episode, we came to see a man that truly loved his daughter, and tried to keep her safe.  But towards the end of Alex’s life, Ben went a different route.  First, he sent her to to imminent danger with her mother and Karl (in which both of them were killed).  Then, when Keamy presented him with a clear choice, he opted for safety as opposed to his daughter’s life.  So…is repentance enough to escape the wrath of the smoke monster?  Perhaps that’s all it is.  But my theory goes just a little bit differently.  I think it’s at least a possibility that Smokey is not judging a person’s nature or level of repentance, but instead, whether or not they have done, or will do, the island’s bidding.

I equate the entire Ben/Alex situation with Locke and his father.  Ben declared that the island wanted Locke to kill his dad, because not doing so would continue to hinder Locke’s growth as a human being.  He’d always have that bit of his past dragging him down, influencing his decisions for years and years into the future.  But if he killed him…well, then he could overcome that anchor to his thoughts and actions.  He could become whatever it was he needed to be.  Now, apply that logic to Ben.  His mother died minutes after he was born, and now that situation hangs around his neck like a dog collar.  When he’s ordered to kill Danielle, he can’t…because that issue still dominates his psyche.  The island knows this.  That’s why the island sent him on the quest in the first place.  But perhaps, now that he “allowed” Alex to die willingly, he has fulfilled the island’s wishes.  Now, when he comes to be judged by the monster, he “passes”…because Alex is dead.  Maybe the island doesn’t give a crap if he’s repentant; maybe the island cares if he does what he’s supposed to do.  That’s a bit out in left field, but I think it still fits without knowing the exact intent of the monster.

Apparition Alex puts Ben in his place

alexscoldsben

I love the last few moments of the episode.  While we can’t say that the apparitions and the smoke monster are one in the same, we can certainly say that they’re attached at the hip.  You often see one right before or after the other.  And this case is no different.  Ben has to be doing a major exhale after escaping the clutches of the monster, but his relief is short-lived.  Right after that encounter, he faces off with Alex’s ghost, who’s got him all kids of figured out.  “I will hunt you down and destroy you” is the warning that Ben receives, if he doesn’t follow the man he’s already tried to kill twice.  Locke is now officially running the show, as demanded by the island, and Ben has no choice but to follow his lead.

Post-episode questions

  1. What are Locke’s next steps?  How is he going to help Sun find Jin?
  2. Is Ben really going to follow Locke unconditionally?
  3. What the heck is Ilana and her crew up to?  What’s the answer to their riddle, and who knows it?
  4. Why did Ben tell Danielle to avoid the whispers?  Was it to sabotage her, or to help her?
  5. How are Smokey and the apparitions related?  Are they actually one in the same?

That’s all for this week, thanks for visiting!





LOST Challenge of the Week: “Dead Is Dead”

8 04 2009

So…I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t know if I could be any more geeked for tonight’s episode.  I mean, an episode that promises to give us more insight to one of the most enigmatic characters on the show (Ben), a visit from Smokey (that may very well include a confrontation with Ben), as well as a hint that we may see someone die (that title is truly ominous, isn’t it?) makes for what could be the best episode of the season to date.  Of course, potential doesn’t always equate to greatness in execution, but LOST has a pretty darn good track record.  There’s definitely a high level of expectation coming into tonight.

And with it comes a great number of directions to go with the challenge of the week.  Do we speculate on a possible death?  Do we try to guess what Ben was up to at the marina or at any other point in his past?  Well, those could be fun, but I think what could be the most interesting thing to try to guess is this: What is going to happen if/when Ben goes toe-to-toe with the Smoke Monster?  I’m sure you guys can come up with some really interesting possibilities.

That’s about it for today…enjoy the episode tonight!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 11: “Whatever Happened, Happened”

3 04 2009

The calm before the storm.  Do any of you feel like that’s right where we are now with LOST?  I don’t want to downplay this episode much, because we got two huge answers that, quite frankly, I didn’t see coming at all.  But the preview for next week, coupled with just the general direction that the Dharmaville storyline is taking, leaves me to believe that something really special and large in scale is right around the corner.  But I guess that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves, isn’t it?  First, let’s discuss “Whatever Happened, Happened”, because there were some pretty cool revelations…

Ben’s been shot on the right side…no, no, no, on HIS right side

benshotbysayid

benbleedingeverywhere

Alright, is it me, or was Ben shot on his left side (Sayid’s right) last episode, only to have the wound show up on his right side this episode?  I only ask because I included a screen shot of it last week, and it clearly seems to have moved.  You really don’t expect those kinds of errors from the crack effects/make-up teams on LOST.  But I guess they’re entitled to a mistake now and then…right?

Kate carries on the Littleton tradition

katevisitscassidy

Wasn’t the lullaby that Kate was singing to Aaron the same one that Claire had sung to her when she was younger?  Nice job by Kate to remember that, and share it with Aaron.  Actually, although this scene technically takes place fairly soon after the Oceanic 6 get back to the mainland, Kate does a masterful job of growing up in this episode.  It’s cool to see so many of the original characters grow in ways you wouldn’t expect based upon their actions in Season 1.  And Kate’s definitely not the only way to make a seemingly out-of-place decision in this episode…

“We’ve only got three janitors: there’s Roger, Willie, and that new guy, I just met him…his name is Jack”

Sawyer’s always been a clever chap, and getting promoted to Dharmaville’s head of security hasn’t changed that at all.  The way he asks for Roger’s keys so that he can allow him to incriminate himself is sheer brilliance.  But the fact that Goodspeed is aware that Jack had the ability to let Sayid out creates a pretty ominous situation.  Do you think that anyone would have reason to frame Jack for the situation?  If not at the start of the episode, perhaps by the end of it?  Things are becoming very interesting around Dharmaville these days…

“What the hell are you doing, Tubby?”

“Checking to see if I’m disappearing.”  Absolutely awesome dialogue here between Hurley and Miles.  The fact that the writers could tell, months in advance, that conversations would be happening around the internet just like this one after last week’s episode is really amazing.  What’s even better is that they use the conversation to once again hammer home the idea that “Whatever Happened, Happened.”  There is no magically changing the past like Back to the Future.  Ben had always been shot by Sayid, we just didn’t know it.  Of course, I went over this with last week’s recap.  So why rehash it?  Well, other than the fact that the scene was yet another nod to us hardcore fans, I think it sets up the table nicely for future episodes.  If we continue to believe Faraday (and so far, there’s no reason not to), then we know that Desmond is the one exception to this rule.  And we know from Eloise Hawking that the island isn’t quite down yet with good ol’ Des.  So don’t be surprised if someone tries to manipulate Desmond into changing past events, Back to the Future style.  Now that the rules have been set and seen, there’s no better time to try to break them.

“If you don’t come with me Jack, that kid is gonna die.”

Wow, so much to glean from just a few minutes of conversation here.  First of all, is this the first time in the entire series that Jack decides not to fix something?   In previous seasons, making a decision like this would be near-impossible for Jack, even if the subject is Ben.  In fact, Jack says as much himself–he’s done this before.  Not only time after time in a general sense, but even this specific case…saving Ben.  But now, somehow, some way, the island has helped Jack see the error of his ways.  This time, instead of following his compulsion to fix anything and everything…instead of doing the thing that wrecked his marriage with Sarah, instead of doing the thing that broke his heart as Kate and Sawyer did their thing in the cages, Jack fights the need to fix things, and instead does nothing.  Actually, it’s more than that.  Jack actually appears to not even have the desire to fix anything…it seems as though he’s kicked that habit altogether.  He’s clearly ready and waiting for the opportunity to fulfill his destiny when the island presents it to him.  Wouldn’t Locke be proud…the man of Science appears to have transformed into a man of Faith.

And simultaneously, he appears to have had enough of Kate’s games, and is putting her right in her place.  Kate knows that Jack has a thing for her.  In fact, she’s known it for awhile.  But this time, Jack knows that Kate knows, and that she tries to use that to her advantage.  But no dice this time.  He’s already given up everything for her.  He’s already saved Ben because she asked him to.  And where did that get him?  Heartache, as he watched she and Sawyer get it on in the cages.  Nope, this time, he’ll have none of it.  And while Kate tries one last, desperate attempt to get Jack to do her bidding: “I don’t like the new you,” Jack refuses to budge, and snaps her back into the reality of her own decisions: “You didn’t like the old me, Kate.”  Wow, truth hurts, doesn’t it.  I could see how alot of people might see Jack as being a cold, uncaring ass in this episode, but not me.  To me, Jack’s been spending the entire series helping everyone else, to the detriment of his own desires and happiness.  Kudos to him for deciding that he’s done being walked on, and that he’s ready to do something that’s right by him for a change.  But if nothing else, it sure as heck seems as though you can write off the Jack-Kate end of the love triangle, doesn’t it?

“She’s a universal donor”

katecontemplating

Amazingly, Kate’s also going through a tremendous transformation right before our eyes, and it’s exactly the opposite of Jack’s.  Kate’s spent the entire series focused on herself: killing her Dad because it made her feel better about her mother’s situation, running from the law instead of facing the truth, even drugging and leaving a man she married because she couldn’t bring herself to do “taco night”.  But now, Kate is doing the right thing.  Instead of running away from the island, she’s come back to it.  Instead of sitting idly by while Ben loses blood, she donates her own.  And there’s more to come, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Hurley and Miles continue the time travel conversation

milesandhurleytalktimetravel

Seriously, did the writers visit the future themselves when writing this dialogue?  I swear I saw discussions on message boards that were almost *exactly* like the verbal tennis being played in their scenes together.  It’s mind boggling how well these guys know their viewers.  Of course, this part of the conversation ends with Hurley asking the big question that Miles can’t answer: why doesn’t Ben remember Sayid, the man who shot him as a child, when they meet in 2004?  Ah, great question Hurley, and one that we get the definitive answer to later in the episode…

Kate loses Aaron…

…and quite possibly her mind in the process?  Actually, it’s this exact moment that causes Kate to head down the path of realization about what she’s doing.  The vision of Aaron walking with Claire (even though it turns out not to be her) strikes a chord with her.  Suddenly, she realizes not only that she’s been living a lie, but that lie has deprived both others, and herself of true peace and happiness.  But let’s wait for the full revelation before discussing the definitive conclusion about her behavior.

“I ain’t here to stop you, I’m here to help you.”

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And help her he does.  But of course, Kate needs to know the why.  Why would he help her?  Why would he help Ben? (Especially since Jack wouldn’t?)  Well, the answer may have been a bit more than she bargained for.  Sawyer’s helping because it’s what the woman he loves wants him to do.  The answer is, he’s doing it for Juliet.  And really, that makes all the sense in the world.  Remember, even though it’s only been a few episodes for us, it’s been three years that Sawyer and Juliet have been together.  If you compare that to the three months that Sawyer and Kate played footsies, with Jack completing the love triangle, then it’s really a no-brainer.  But the bottom line of it is this: the Sawyer-Kate end of the love triangle appears over, doesn’t it?  Actually, it suddenly appears as though Kate’s got no romantic interest on the island, does she?  Hm…perhaps that’s just wat she needs right now…

“You came back for you!”

Juliet finally gets off her chest what she’s been holding inside since 4 of the 6 O6ers came back to 1977 Dharmaville.  She’s pissed that Jack and friends came back, and she demands to know why.  Why the heck would they break up their happiness?  Of course, she already told him…he’s come back for himself.  And while Jack won’t admit as much directly, he knows it’s true.  Even when the island calls on him to fulfill his destiny, it’ll be about *his* destiny, regardless of whether or not it benefits or impacts anyone else.  By the way, did anyone else think it was odd that Jack decided to put a shirt on right out of the shower, without even drying off?  That was a strange move.

“She had an interesting theory about why you jumped off the chopper…”

Sawyer and Kate’s heart-to-heart scene answers quite a few questions for us.  First, we get confirmation of what many of you thought all along…that last season’s whisper was all about Kate taking care of Sawyer’s daughter.  And in the smae conversation, we get a full-fledged admission from Sawyer: he was looking for an excuse to jump off that helicopter.  He wasn’t ready to play house with Kate, and he wasn’t ready to be a dad.  But the interesting thing is that he appears much more mature now.  If nothing else, he at least appears to be able to talk about what he is, and what he isn’t.  Or at least, what he wasn’t.  Yes, James has grown a lot as an individual these past three years.  It’s no wonder he wants so badly to keep up the Dharma ruse and play house with Juliet.  It almost excuses his behavior from last episode…almost.

Kate comes to grips with her situation…and comes clean to Carole

katetellscaroleall

And the moment that we all hoped would happen finally occurs.  Kate finally tells Carole that Aaron is actually her grandson, and that she, not Kate deserves to raise him.  Certainly the right thing to do, but also incredibly brave on Kate’s part.  And, in what was probably the 2nd most shocking event of the episode, Kate reveals that the reason why she’s going back to the island is to find and rescue Claire.  Wow, I didn’t see that one coming at all.  But it really makes so much sense…much more than if she said she was going back for Sawyer.

Of course, before I move on, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Evangeline Lilly’s amazing performance in this scene, and in the episode as a whole.  The cast has really been doing a fantastic job lately, and Lilly’s work here is no exception.  Her scenes with Aaron haven’t always worked, but if you didn’t feel at least a little tug on the heart strings when she leaves Aaron behind, you don’t have a pulse.

“If I take him, he’s not ever going to be the same again.”

richardtakesbenintothetemple

And thus we get the biggest surprise of the episode, at least the biggest for me.  Ben’s recovery, lack of knowledge of Sayid, and his turn to the menace he is in the future all point to one thing: he’s been brought through the Temple.  I tell ya, that Temple is goose-pimple freaky.  It has the power to heal an irreparable gunshot wound, but it steals a part of your soul in the process.  The same sickness that Rousseau’s crew contracted is also what makes Ben tick.  Not sure about all of you, but I can’t help but to think Pet Sematary on this one.  I hope we get a bit more detail, but it really makes Ben a fully tragic character at this point.  The poor kid has his mother die minutes after he was born, his dad beats the crap out of him regularly, and a complete stranger that he lets out of jail shoots him for no reason.  And what does that get him?  A trip to the Temple..where his humanity is forcefully taken from him, turning him into a pathological liar and tool of the island’s will.  That’s a tough fate for anyone to endure.

One last thing to take from this scene: Richard comments that Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking are still on the island at this time (makes sense, since Charles said he was tricked into leaving by Ben, and he’s not old enough yet to pull something like that off).  But Richard also makes it quite clear that he doesn’t take orders from them.  So while it looks like Charles may have founded the Others camp, Richard was almost certainly not a part of the original team.  In fact, it looks as though he may have been around much earlier…

Post-episode questions:

  1. What the heck does that Temple do to people?
  2. Who *does* Richard answer to?
  3. What’s Locke got in store for Ben?
  4. Whose blood did Ben have on him back in “316”?  Desmond’s?  Penny’s?  His own?
  5. Are we actually going to see Ben go eye-to-eye with Smokey?  Hoo boy!

That’s it for this week!  Thanks for stopping by!